Human Geography: Place, Identity and power

This assignment asks you to apply geographical concepts to your life and to the world around you. The assignment requires both primary and secondary research. You will write three short “journal entries,” an introduction, and a conclusion (plus a bibliography).

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You will select three units from the course outline to focus on (e.g. urban geography, cultural geography, etc.). For each unit you will choose a small site (e.g. a playground, shop, public square, school, café, living room, temple, theatre, park) in Metro Vancouver and apply the concepts and vocabulary from the unit (readings + lectures) to your observations at the location. To do this, you must visit the place and spend at least one hour closely observing (looking, listening, smelling, touching, making sketches, taking photos, and possibly speaking to people) and taking notes. You will use your observations to illustrate the concepts/vocabulary from the unit you selected. At the same time, you are using geographical concepts to help you understand what you observe. You will record your reflections and observations in a journal entry. Your journal entry will connect the location and your observations to the concepts in the unit. Do not take anything for granted! As you will discover, even apparently minor features (a table, a photograph, a tree, a plaque, a glass of milk, a lamp, mementos, a bee) are important. Look for relationships between space, place, identity, and power. How can geographic concepts help you understand such interactions? Although your analysis will take into account landscape and humans (as well as other living beings), you may choose to focus on landscape/objects or human behaviour (rather than both).



The three sites:
-one must be a room in the apartment/house in which you currently live
-one must be in the neighbourhood in which you live (e.g. Kits, Mount Pleasant, Guildford)

-one can be anywhere in Metro Vancouver



You will not be able to cover everything in the unit, but at least 2-3 key terms/concepts. You may use the same concepts that you used for the media assignment, but your analysis must be substantially different. Each journal entry must be 600-800 words. Indicate the date and time of your observation. Begin with a description of the place you observed, and then move into your analysis. Be sure to define the geographical concepts you use. If your paper contains maps, pictures or diagrams, label them clearly and refer to them in the text.

For each journal entry you must also do some outside research using at least one scholarly source. You will use the scholarly source to add depth to your analysis and to incorporate what other scholars have said about the topics you are discussing. In addition to scholarly sources, you may use popular sources (e.g. website, novel, newspaper, movie) if you wish. Any time you use an idea from somebody else you must cite the source. Not doing so is plagiarism. Any citation style is acceptable as long as you are consistent.

Human Geography is concerned with humans’ relationships with their environment. Therefore, the focus of your analysis will be the human world, but you must also give consideration in your analysis to the other-than- human worlds at the location. This could mean living plants, trees, dogs, bacteria, soils, etc., or things made from dead plants or animals (e.g. leather, cotton, food, wool, paper, feathers, wood, etc.).

Before submission, you will put your three journal entries into one document and write an introduction and a conclusion that tie the entries together. The introduction (1-2 paragraphs) introduces the places and concepts you cover and explains what you are going to do. The conclusion (1-2 paragraphs) summarises what you learned and connects your analyses to broader issues. The final document will have 6 sections, each with a subheading: Introduction, 3 journal entries (each one under an interesting, descriptive subheading), Conclusion, Bibliography. Your bibliography will include: the course textbook, lecture notes, at least 3 scholarly sources, and possibly some popular sources (websites, media articles, etc.). Finally, be sure to give your paper an interesting and descriptive title. 


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